STUDIA UNIVERSITATIS BABEŞ‐BOLYAI, STUDIA EUROPAEA, LIV, 4, 2009
„AGAINST ALL THE OTHERS!”. A STUDY OF MARGINAL
CONSTESTATION IN ROMANIA BASED ON DISCOURSE
Because of the burden of totalitarian communism, the Romanian extremist
movements have rarely contested the democratic system as a whole and have
adopted some strategies of accommodation. In this way, they left a virgin space of
variable dimensions for the anti‐system movements that emerged at the margins of
mainstream society. In this study, I will use the theoretical framework of discourse
theory and the empirical framework of a comparative international research project
to show that, albeit being marginal by its nature, radical contestation in Romania
may have unexpected consequences over the stability and legitimacy of the political
and institutional system.
Key‐words: contestation, radicalism, discourse theory, identity, marginality
Ignored for a long period of time, the phenomenon of contestation
has made its return among the main research interests on the occasion of
the celebration of the May 1968 upsurge. But between 1968 and 2008,
contestation has changed its nature and its appearance. The place of the
mass movements who openly contested power has been taken by the quasi‐
sectarian units or the informal pressure groups whose actions are generally
a strange combination between violent sabotages and meticulous
constructions of parallel worlds.
This contribution attempts to evaluate the explicative added value
of discourse theory to the study of the Romanian rebellious movements.1 In
* PhD Lecturer in Political Science, Faculty of European Studies, „Babes‐Bolyai” University,
Cluj‐Napoca. E‐mail: email@example.com
1 In order to avoid some possible misunderstandings, I will use different quotation marks
for the metaphors that I will use and for the words used by the subjects of my interviews.
Thus, I will respectively use italics for my metaphors and ‘single quotation marks’ for those
used by the interviewed.
32 Sergiu Mişcoiu
the first part, I will briefly expose the framework of the research project
L’Europe rebelle (a joint project of the Universities Paris‐Est